North America is a net exporter of MRO services but that could be at risk based on limited fleet growth projections, availability of qualified technicians and economic uncertainties, including a potential backlash from anti-globalization political movements.
Commercial operators in the region generate $12.2 billion in airframe, engine and component MRO, with only 30%, or $3.6 billion, performed in other regions, according to David Marcontell, general manager of Cavok, a division of Oliver Wyman VP, speaking at the annual Aeronautical Repair Station Association Symposium on Mar. 16.
This compares to $4.4 billion that North American MROs perform for operators outside the region, which means that the continent exports $0.8 billion in MRO services. This net gain in aftermarket work could face headwinds based on many reasons, including if protectionist politics proliferate.
HAECO Americas President Jim Sokol does not think the HAECO Group will be as affected because “Our customers align with our business based on our geographical locations, whether in Asia or in the Americas, which I think is an advantage.”
Oliver Wyman forecasts the global commercial aviation MRO market to be worth $72.1 billion in 2017, with engine MRO generating the most, or $25.7 billion. The rest will come from airframe and modifications ($16.1 billion), components ($13.1 billion) and line maintenance ($12.8 billion). In the past year, Marcontell says that the in-service fleet grew to 25,368 aircraft. The fleet gained 2,310 aircraft but 1,482 were removed, according to Marcontell, resulting in a net addition of 828 aircraft last year, approximately 200 more than normal.